The alarm clock has rung and the snooze button has been pushed. The third rooster of the early sunshine hours is crowing telling me to “get yourself up!”. My mind knows that there are so very many things I have to do, but my body just doesn’t want to listen.
Is this how your mornings go? Well I have tried for years to stop hitting the snooze button, and to listen to the roosters as they are starting their day.
But, there are a lot of mornings that start off slow, usually thanks to a too-late night of reading before bed the night before. So how do I manage to take care of all my chores on the homestead without having total chaos in our home?
I have taken my lessons from the many Amish books and studies that I have read over the years. I am always reading at least one Amish fiction book, as well as an Amish cookbook or other Amish nonfiction publication.
A couple of my latest favorites have really educated me on how Amish wives and mothers manage their households. (My Life As An Amish Wife: A Diary, by Lena Yoder and The Amish Cook: Recollections and Recipes from an Old Order Amish Family, by Elizabeth Coblentz ).
Now, I know there are a lot of folks out there that already have this down pat and don’t need to read about how to start their morning, but for most of us things are constantly changing as families and homesteads grow. What I have discovered is that the way you start your morning helps you adjust to those changes and sets the tone for the entire day. For me, and the lessons I have learned from the Amish, it all boils down to having discipline and routines. By implementing many of the concepts I have learned from the Amish, I have been able to create homestead mornings for myself and my family that are happy, productive, and that set up the day for success. Here is my list of things I do to get my days going – hope it helps you with starting off your day!
–Clean the kitchen before you go to bed. Yep, my morning starts the night before. The fastest way to stress out your day is to walk into the kitchen, sleepily searching for that coffee mug and pot, and having to maneuver around a bunch of stuff in the sink or on the counter. Taking the few minutes before bed to make sure the kitchen is ready for morning makes a huge difference in how my day starts.
– Get up before the rest of the family. This is the most important step for me. If you know you’ll hit the snooze, then start with an alarm an hour before the others in your household. It’s amazing what 30-60 minutes of private time can do to set your day in a positive motion. Believe me, your family will really appreciate your relaxed and positive state of mind you gain from this step.
– If you drink coffee to get going, then get a coffee pot with a timer (like these) and commit to preparing it nightly. I get mine ready when I’m working on dinner so that it’s taken care of with that round of cooking. Oh, what a blessing to know that the coffee is brewing at 6:00 am every morning!
–Once you have had your coffee, walk around and just pick up the rest of the house. Make sure to grab anything that the family left laying around last night (you know, those socks they threw off, the blankets they were cuddling in, the toys and games) even if you just get it all into one spot somewhere (like these big gathering baskets). Clutter equals chaos and helping your family wake up to a calm atmosphere will help your day to remain calm.
– During that quiet time in the morning spend a few minutes doing things that you enjoy. Spend time with the Lord, reflect on the blessings in your life, read a good book (see our Christian book reviews for ideas) or the bible without interruption.
–Start something- get your bread stirred up and rising, put a meal in the crock pot, take meat out to thaw for dinner, write a grocery list, do your laundry. Anything you start first thing in the morning is one less thing you have to worry about later in the day.
–Review your calendar– plan your weeks activities and set goals. If you have a big project, figure out how you will get it done without disrupting the rest of the homestead duties. If you want to sew or do something crafty, determine when you can sneak in some time to do that. If you are headed to a friends for dinner, decide what food and hostess gift you will take along and when you will get it ready.
–Write letters and other correspondence. Now, I’m not saying get up and first thing start paying bills or stressing yourself out over what’s due. I am saying sit down and truly correspond with someone. Whether it is to write a letter the old fashioned way with pen and paper, or to send an email, take the time to let someone know you care and are thinking of them. If you use pen and paper, then make sure you stamp it and get it out to the mailbox for pick up. Don’t let your letter sit around in the “pending” pile!
–Journal or write in your diary. If you don’t do this already, I highly suggest it. For years I have kept a journal– a really simple one where I can just jot down the days events. I have used a 5 year Diary (like these) and really love looking back on the previous years to see what occurred then. It’s amazing how similar the weather and farm events are each year! And it’s even more amazing to see how the Lord has grown and changed me.
–Open the door, step outside and breath deeply. Take a good look around. Really see the beauty that the Lord has made in your day. Don’t just run outside and start working. Sit in a favorite spot with your coffee or tea. A few minutes of embracing Gods creation will put peace and awe in your heart. Don’t forget “this is the day that the Lord has made”. Live and start each morning knowing that every day is new and special, made for you to live for His will.
Well, that’s all for right now…I hope you have a blessed morning!